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Controversy Surrounds DPS Shooting of Black Teen

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By Floyd Alvin Galloway
Special to the NNPA from The Arizona Informant

Alexander Wilson, a 16-year- old, was shot and killed by a Department of Public Safety officer near 35th Avenue and Camelback, April 7. According to reports the teen was driving a stolen SUV when he tried to run an officer over who had been following him and his older brother William Brown. Family members dispute the claim Wilson tried to run the officer over and the car was stolen.

“We will prove the car wasn’t stolen,” said his sister Alexis Wilson. “I won’t say Alex was an angel – he was just a boy,” said a distraught Alexis.

“He was very sweet to anybody who came in contact with him,” she explained during a protest in front of the Arizona State Capitol April 10.

Approximately 20 friends and family members marched in front of the Capitol, yelling slogans and demanding justice for the teen that was killed instantly from the gunshot wound to the face. The protestors enter the Executive Tower, demanding a meeting with Governor Jan Brewer to get answers.

Mathew Benson, director of communication, met with the group. April Douglas, an older sister of the Wilsons, told Benson they wanted answers from the governor.

“This officer is on a paid vacation while my brother is dead,” said Douglas.

A DPS vehicle drew the group’s ire when the office pulled up to the capital, igniting strong criticism from the protestors. The officer drove away after a few minutes.

According to reports Wilson was driving a SUV when picked up Brown. He told his brother he got the car from a friend.

Brown said his brother noticed the DPS officer was following them. “He told me we were being followed he was going to pull into the gas station to see if he’s going to go by,” said Brown.

According to reports Wilson had a felony warrant for his arrest for an armed robbery, which may have made him nervous. “He was going to go,” said Brown, but he didn’t get it in gear and revved the engine,” explained Brown.

Brown said the next thing he heard was a shot and his brother’s hand then threw the car into gear. Brown said he tried to grab the steering wheel, the car crashed into a residential brick fence.

Realizing his brother was dead; a frightened Douglas initially jumped out the car and ran. He later turned himself in to Phoenix Police.

“I didn’t know what they were going to do and better to turn myself in.” At Informant press time there have been no charges filed against Brown.

The Phoenix Police Department is investigating the DPS shooting. There were no drugs or alcohol found in the car and a toxicology report is pending.

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